Monday, June 1, 2009

Be.Still. (Part Five -- Disappointment)

I'd never been on a real date before.

The Senior Prom doesn't count, because EVERYONE has a date for the Prom. If I'd gone with my older cousin, I wouldn't count that as a date, right?

It was the summer after high school. I'd just gotten back from Mexico, where I'd done street ministry to some of the poorest children in the small town of Morelia. My friend of 12 years had become my boyfriend by the time we took our final exams. I had gone out of the country for the first time in my I figured I was ready to go on a date.

At the time, I was enrolled in this year-long church program for post high-school grads. I'd moved out of my parents' home, and into a host house with the pastor's older, single daughter. I was under rules and regulations, but dating was not one of them. I was very, very excited to be able to hang out with my guy alone. He'd come to church events, and my parents knew him, for the most part.

I remember that Sunday very well. I invited him to a church event that was held at a school in my hometown. There was entertainment put on by some of the members, and PLENTY of food. The plan was, that he and I were going to go to the movies after the event was over. I'd cleared it with the pastor and his wife two weeks before.

Coming out of the bathroom at the school (I'd changed into jeans and a tshirt), my guy stood near the front doors waiting for me. I suddenly remembered to go say bye to my parents before I left for my date. They replied that I couldn't go on the date, because no one knew about it before hand. I said that my pastor and his wife knew. Clearly upset, my parents confronted them.

And much to my surprise, they replied (with me standing there) that they knew nothing about me going out on a any time...and especially not that day. My head started to spin. With all eyes on me, I simply stood there; speechless. I didn't know what I was more disappointed in: my parents' anger or my church leaders' dishonesty. I turned to look back at the guy...and signaled for him to go on without me.

My mind swam with confusion and hurt. After proving to be an responsible, well-rounded young adult, I was still unafforded the basic pleasure of hanging out with a friend. And I was a 17 year old high school graduate.

This disappointment swelled in the pit of my gut. And it only grew.

This occurance flooded into an array of conversations and lectures. My parents were furious at me for my lack of sound judgement. My pastors declared that I was being drawn down the wrong path, and that I was too carnal for wanting to go out on my very first date.
Finally, a conference was scheduled between my pastors, my parents, and I...

...where I was strongly advised to stop dating this boy. And there was a unified voice in that room, and it spoke that I was going down the wrong path. What I felt was wrong.

There is a vivid memory that continues to haunt my dreams.

And it happened as soon as the meeting was over...

I remember going into the empty bathroom of my church and crying my eyes out. I held my hands tightly across my mouth and weeped sour, broken tears into the floor. I asked God for clarity. I wanted to know why this was happening to me, and why I did not see it coming. I could physically feel a battle going on inside of me. It wasn't that I felt I could not live without this guy. That wasn't it at all. It was that I had absolutely no clue what is truly righteous and good. Somehow, I'd lacked the spiritual fortitude to see the darkness (or the light, for that matter) inside of my own soul. I wanted to possess my own faith. Have it to be MINE.

But it didn't belong to me, it belonged to those who felt they knew better than I did.

And that belief was lorded over me. Making me dizzy with disappointment.

I was in an unsound place. A place where a hope was dangled in front of my eyes, but then snatched away...where I am then told that this hope wasn't really mine to begin with.

The notion of hope deferred still tends to trip me up. My mind immediately goes back to a picture of me: confused and decieved. But I shake that lie out of my mind...remembering that I contain the potential to grasp growth, beauty, wisdom, and true grace, as well as the evidence that points towards my own personal relationship with God. I should only be still and tap into it...

So, disappointment teaches me this:
Fear no man, only God. Because He is the only one who can change the direction of the wind. Trust Him.

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